You’re ready to take the next step and buy your first, or buy another, investment property.
And you’re looking for the best Buyer’s agent or Buyer’s advocate around in order to make your investment property purchase.
Naturally, among all your research for the best Buyer’s agent for the job you’re probably doing a lot of research online to see what information you can gather.
“What is the best Buyer’s agent in Melbourne?
“Where can I find the best Buyer’s agent in Sydney?
Or the top Buyer’s agent for Brisbane?”
Typing some of these search terms into your search engine you will probably come across a number of websites puporting claiming to help you find the best Buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, or even property manager around - and a lot of these websites do offer up a wealth of information by giving what looks like is a comprehensive list of all the listed Buyer’s agents in your area (and all their information) – but there is something you need to make sure you’re aware of.
Equally some of Australia’s best or top real estate agent websites or agencies can point you in the right direction.
The thing is, while there are a number of websites out there claiming to help you find the best Buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, or even property manager around - and a lot of these websites do offer up a wealth of information by giving what looks like is a comprehensive list of all the listed Buyer’s agents in your area (and all their information) - there is something you need to make sure you’re aware of.
Think of this as a gentle consumer warning.
Let me talk you through it…
You’ve started your online search and you’ve found a list of what is headlined as ‘best’ agents in your area.
Now make sure you look at the disclaimer at the foot of the page.
What do you see?
You’ll likely find a disclaimer stating that not all agents listed have been reviewed, that they aren’t listed in order and that it’s not a conclusive list of all Buyer’s agents, seller’s agents or property managers in Australia and that the information should be used for general purposes.
And it’s not just that, most agents pay to be listed on these sites.
It’s also worth pointing out that while these websites are meant to look like something you would come across on Google Reviews or TripAdvisor, agents listed on the website are not reviewed or rated by customers.
So if you’re planning to look at these sites as part of your research to find a Buyer’s agent, it's important to realise, and remember, that they are effectively paid directories where the website owner gets a portion of any commission for deals passed onto agents.
Think of it like the yellow pages, not a comprehensive list of verified and rated agents.
It’s so important, then, that if you decide to contact an agent on one of these website lists, that you do all your background research as well.
Likewise, don’t dismiss someone you’ve come across in your research if they aren’t listed, because as I mentioned above, it isn’t a comprehensive list.
Isn’t it surprising?
Let me wrap all this all up again in a simple list.
These are the 6 things anyone needs to be aware of about these websites which ‘list’ the top buyer/seller/property agents in your area:
- Not all agents have been reviewed and included
- Agents aren’t listed in order
- It’s not a conclusive list of agents available in Australia (not all are included)
- Most agents pay to be listed on these websites
- The website owner may get a portion of any commission for deals passed on to agents through the ‘directory’ list
- These websites aren’t rated or reviewed by customers
The thing is, not all Buyer’s agents are created equal so investors must be cautious of the motivations of the person they choose to act on their behalf.
So how should you choose the best Buyer’s agent for you?
Here are 5 tips for how to choose the best Buyer’s agent
There are so many benefits to choosing the right Buyer’s agent to represent you, so the decision should not be taken lightly.
While some agents may be order takers, a Buyer’s Agent that meets the following criteria should be vastly different.
If you are looking to buy in an average location, they should have the experience and market depth to be able to better educate you in your decision-making process.
They should also be able to recommend alternative points of views and different options when growing your asset base.
If you are the expert here and the Buyer’s Agent just goes along with everything you say, you may be dealing with an order taker.
While some people may only purchase 1 or 2 properties in their lifetime, I would want someone who is assisting 1 or 2 property purcahses per week.
Because an excellent Buyer’s agent has the experience, knowledge and depth to be an industry leader.
After all, if you can find an expert who outperforms, chances are your property portfolio will do the same.
Here are a number of tips which will help you find a Buyer’s Agent to represent you;
(Let’s assume they are already registered and fully licensed)
The Buyer’s agent has enough experience, in the right area
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he explains the concept of the 10,000-hour rule.
To become an expert in your field, you must have accumulated 10,000 hours or more.
This is a very useful guide because it implies that over that time they would have had all of their systems finely tuned and worked out what works well and what doesn’t.
For a property expert working a 40 hour week (min), this would be 2,000 hours per year.
So I would want to ensure they have a minimum of 5 years’ experience as a Buyer’s Agent (=10,000 hours) and it would be important to ensure that their experience is in the same location I am going to be investing or buying in.
The Buyer’s agent has a strong network and database
Does the agent have strong industry connections and a large database?
A great Buyer’s agent should be able to show you every property that is available for sale, whether that is an on-, off- or pre-market opportunity.
They should also have access to strong independent resources from building inspectors, finance experts and solicitors.
Everything they do, or recommend, should be designed around simplifying the process and making life easier for you, while maximising the outcome.
The Buyer’s agent has a successful property portfolio
They walk the walk, and talk the talk, but are they able to show you that they have created a property portfolio, and for themselves?
With a wealth of experience and great connections, it should be easy for them to back it up with a proven track record of transactions.
And has the Buyer’s agent taken their own advice in terms of their investment suggestions?
Do they have experience in the field of renovation or development (if that’s what you’re considering?)
I would certainly be more inclined to follow my Buyers agent’s lead if I knew they had invested in the same location or similar type of property.
The Buyer’s agent is a specialist, not a general practitioner
Is the Buyer’s agent part of a professional agency or working as a man band out of the back of a car?
Are they willing to buy across vast areas or do they specialise and have experience in one spot?
As the saying goes “When you are a Jack of all trades, you are a Master of none”.
I would want my Buyers Agent to be a Specialist not a General Practitioner.
The Buyer’s agent works in your best interest
This is an obvious one but sadly I see it quite a lot.
Instead of dedicating their time into finding the best and most suitable property for the investor, they find ‘suitable’ properties and then farm it out to their database.
First in, gets the property.
This is not working in your best interest.
Also, a property investor, whether seasoned or first-time, needs to work with a Buyer’s agent who is able to be open to answering any questions and show you everything you need to know before moving forward.
From access to things like reviews from existing clients or case studies from recent buyers, the agent should be able to happily give you peace of mind that they’re working in your best interest from day 1.
Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities the current property markets are offering.
Sure the markets are moving on, but not all properties are going to increase in value. Now, more than ever, correct property selection will be critical.
You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, at times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that's what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.
We help our clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through a range of services including:
- Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family. Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now! Click here to learn more
- Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $4Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment grade property. Click here to learn how we can help you.
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Brett Warren is a director of Metropole Properties in Brisbane and uses his 18 plus years property investment experience and economics education to advise clients how to build their portfolios.
He is a regular commentator for Michael Yardney's Property Update.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.